June 15, 2010

Story of McNeill's Rangers told at Fort Mulligan

At Fort Mulligan in West Virginia you can read the story of John "Hanse" McNeill on a marker under the flag pole. It shares a panel with The Irish Brigade and Union General James A. Mulligan.

"Captain John H. McNeill, CSA John Hanson McNeill was born June 12, 1815, a short distance from Moorefield. In April of 1861, he was commissioned by Missouri Governor Jackson to raise a company of militia and join General Price. Twice commended for bravery, McNeill was wounded at Lexington and later captured, along with his son Jesse. After a daring escape from prison, McNeill and his son returned to Hardy County and once again tool up the cause of the Confederacy.
Captain McNeill’s company of 1st Virginia Partisan Rangers was accepted into Confederate service on September 24, 1862. It was merged into the 18th Virginia Cavalry, and then part of McNeill’s command was reassigned in February of 1863. The other section remained under McNeill’s personal command. Few groups were more effective that the some 210 men of the McNeill Rangers. Hardy County served as their main base of operations. The McNeill Rangers were considered “bushwhackers” by many Union generals as they pursued their objectives—creating general havoc among the Federal troops, disrupting traffic and communications on the B&O Railroad, and foraging for beef cattle to supply the Confederate armies.
On October 3, 1863, having learned of a wagon train bringing supplies to Union troops around Harrisonburg, the McNeill Rangers attacked a force of Federals guarding the bridge over the Shenandoah. They captured the bridge and some 60 Union prisoners, but in the confusion McNeill was mortally wounded. He was taken to the home of a Methodist minister where, knowing they were in danger of capture, he said “Goodbye, my boys, leave he to my fate. I can do no more for my country.” He was later smuggled to Harrisonburg where he died November 10, 1864. The McNeill Rangers continued under the leadership of his son Jesse, who never forgot what his father taught him—in leading a raid, one should always look well for a getting-out-place before going in."

[View all the markers using their Next link]
FaceTweet it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

The View from Squirrel Ridge features thousands of views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area. I post frequently so please visit often.

Your comments are appreciated. If you are responding to a post older than a few days, your comment will be held until we have a chance to approve it. Thanks for your patience!

Sorry, anonymous comments cannot be accepted because of the large number of spam comments that come in that way. Also, links that are ads will be deleted.